No picnics in Rome parks says mayor

Rome's parks and villas will begin to reopen from 4 May.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi has said that the city's parks will reopen gradually from 4 May but with social distancing measures in place.

Walks will be allowed but people should maintain a distance of one metre between each other. In the case of jogging people must maintain a two-metre distance, the mayor said in a Facebook post on 2 May.

Entry to parks is not permitted to people with "symptoms of respiratory infection and fever" - said the mayor - adding that "minors and people who are not completely self-sufficient" can walk with a carer or parent, respecting social distancing.

Picnics, parties and group sporting activities are prohibited, and children's play areas in parks will remain closed, the mayor said.

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The mayor's comments come as Italy prepares to enter Phase Two of the coronavirus emergency, with the easing of lockdown restrictions from 4 May.

Italian news agency ANSA reported in recent days that the first two parks in Rome to open to the public would be Villa Pamphilj and Villa Borghese which will be monitored by drones to ensure that people don't gather in groups.

During Italy's Phase Two period, mayors will have the power to close parks if they see fit to do so.

Photo credit: rarrarorro / Shutterstock.com